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Posted By Fuller Harvey On January 26, 2018

Family Planning Clinics Kick Off the New Year with Cervical Health Focus

Cervical Health Awareness Month

Family planning clinics are promoting Cervical Health Awareness Month – and we all should applaud!
 

Per, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition:  “Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is virtually always preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (Pap and HPV tests).”
 

We should stand up and applaud:  in a world of constant cancer diagnoses, the words “virtually always preventable” are a rare commodity and should be everyone’s vision.  Family planning clinics who are keen to jump on that visionary health-train should be interested in creating a clinic-culture which utilizes every tool in their clinic toolbelt for Education, Screening, and Vaccination.
 

Education

It cannot be said enough: “Knowledge is power.”   Educating the populous of a clinic about significant and broad-spectrum health issues should be a priority – one which extends beyond hanging public service posters in waiting areas and restrooms.  Family planning clinics serious about reaching their clients, therefore, should be utilizing every communication tool available to broadcast accessibility to resources and support groups.
 

Screening

Screening for cervical cancer is usually included in a woman’s annual exam.  Wide-spread screening of a clinic’s population should be a direct result of a clinic focusing on education.   For information regarding screening, check out the links below:

Information of Cervical Cancer Screen in from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

(Spanish version HERE.)

National Cancer Institute

(Spanish version HERE.)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Infographic)

(Spanish version HERE.)

Per the CDC, every female client of a clinic within the ages of 21-65 should receive regular screening tests.
 

Vaccination

Finally, the NCCC makes the recommendation on their Cervical Health Awareness fact sheet, “Ten Things to Know about HPV and Cervical Cancer” that all boys and girls get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12. However, the same fact sheet acknowledges “HPV infections are usually harmless. . .and most are cleared naturally by the body in a year or two.”  Clinics who care should engage their clients in an educated discussion regarding vaccination.  Should vaccination be selected as a course of action, the vaccination is given in two (or sometimes three, depending upon the age of the recipient) doses.   A clinic which utilizes an EHR with an immunization application and a client communicator application is strategically poised to manage the dosing series with effectiveness. . .  all of which will guide the clinic toward being part of the promotion of greater cervical health. . .and have a claim to saying:  “We are doing our part to realize the vision of cervical cancer being ‘virtually always preventable.’”
 

And that’s something we call all applaud.  May the focus of January bring continuing good health through the rest of the year!
 

About Fuller Harvey

Fuller is a creative consultant who is bringing her passion for connective, encouraging, and practical communication to Patagonia Health. She considers her greatest strength to be creating an adhesive environment where individuals are valued, supported and celebrated for the contributions they bring to the “team table” and where all communication -both within and without the company – has positive purpose and impact.

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